Good fences make good neighbors. (Frost is one of my favourites, by the way).
Our place in Brooklyn was quiet with great neighbours. It was a private brownstone - the owners lived on the top three floors and we lived on the ground floor. It was ideal and we loved it for the eight years we lived there. I STILL miss it daily. All of the neighbours were friendly, we knew them all by name and liked each and every one. Heavy sigh - we had hit the jackpot.
Our last building here in London had thin walls. Even though the place was small it was sort of quiet. The Russians (we love to assign monikers to people - it's practically sport 'round here) who lived above us were quiet enough - however they complained to everyone in the building about making noise. They got on my case for running the washer/dryer too late at night so I never did laundry in the evenings (to be fair the thing would rattle like a locomotive). But they are universally disliked for it.
The gay couple (the Great Gays) across the hall were quiet and kept to themselves unless the alarm went off (and it went off plenty), then they would bitch out anyone within earshot.
We had a perfect family, quiet, reserved and polite (The Beavers), the crazy lady (Shriek Owl) who lived next door who screeched at delivery men who rang all the doorbells and freaked out on others for a myriad of issues (and she's a yoga instructor - hmmm).
Then there were the rude French folks (Frenchie) and a few others who we actually liked (one family - the Loud Americans are actually good friends).
The point being - we fit right in, liked everyone and made it work.
Now we're in a new building and we know absolutely no one. I love it.
The people across the hall have a newborn who cries ALL the time. My heart breaks for whoever lives there. I've seen about five different people coming and going with their own keys so I haven't a clue as to who the baby belongs to. You can only hear it if you're near the door or in the hallway - thank heavens because the last thing I need to to be kept awake by someone else's crying baby.
Then there is 'The Crone' - a cantankerous woman in her early to mid 60's who is the self-appointed hall monitor. She barked at our movers to close the doors once they were done, she called animal control to catch the raggedy fox that made it's way out back (poor thing), and she tossed Fen's shoes in front of our door (I told him to get them out of the dressing room because they smelled and he put them outside the flat so I can't say I blame her for that one - and I promised to try and control my wild and troublesome husband in the future). This evening the Frat Boys (who live above us - in late 20's and surprisingly quiet) left two beer bottles on the wall in front pathway and she growled at them to pick them up. I snickered behind my curtains at that exchange.
We have The Nakeds next to us. One night, last week I went into our bedroom to shut the curtains and didn't turn on the light (because I don't want the neighbours looking at me) and saw both him and her in their knickers hanging in the kitchen. Yikes!
So far I haven't formally met any of them. And that's fine with me. The walls are thick, the ceilings are high and the curtains are shut. Works for me!